This Week In Circus Arts
So these things happened in Acro 2 yesterday (both photos by Starr Peters, I think? … at least, I know the first one is).
I can only describe the first one as a four-way fold. Basically, you pretend you’re sitting in a chair, and then you grab hands in the middle and lean back into each other’s laps, and it’s like, “By our powers combined, we are Captain Awkward-As-Hell-But-Looks-Pretty-Cool!”
Also, if you have only one person in the fold who feels comfortable sort of exploding up from this position, everyone else winds up falling over.
Ask me how I know, heh.
The other one is what we’ve nicknamed the “Scented Candlestick” (as in, “Trick or treat, smell my feet…”), though it has another name in Yoga.
Because I’m a medium-sized person, I base and fly everything and everyone, and Katie (who I’m basing in this picture) is one of the best flyers I’ve had the privilege of strangling with my feet 😀
In other news, today was my first day back in Trap 3 since I went to the Burn. I was expecting to suffer, but it was a review day, and I pretty much nailed everything … okay, except for that one thing where I forgot that my flexibility means I can dump myself right out of the trapeze, but fortunately I was on the moderate-low trap and could easily catch myself in a handstand.
And then I got back up and nailed that thing, too. I failed to catch the name of it, but it was kind of a bird’s-nest variant that you enter by dropping from a front balance and catching yourself with the backs of your legs on the ropes. The downside of being really flexible is that you can slide right off the bar; the upside is that you can get into a super-cool hang with your knees folded over the ropes and your hands on your ankles (or calves, or knees). I’ll have to get a picture of that next time I’m in Open Fly.
Edit: I also nailed pike beat to tuck-through and full ankle beats during the warm-up. I meant to try long-arm beat to front balance, but forgot. Still, I’ve never even tried to tuck through from a pike beat before, and I think I’ve done ankle beats all of once. All of that, though, owes to the rather extreme flexibility of my back. It makes doing almost any kind of beats much easier, because you can get a better release and therefore more momentum.
We ended class by playing what I’m going to call Improv Telephone: everyone lines up, then the first person mounts the trapeze and does something, the second one does the mount and the first move and adds something, and so on. The cool part is that, being the second-most advanced class on offer, we’re allowed to do whatever feels right, even if it’s not officially A Thing.
The result (in addition to a fun little piece of choreography) was the invention of a possibly-new skill that we’re calling the Mer-Horse (I say “possibly new” because basically everything under the sun has probably been done at one point or another by someone, somewhere, but this one definitely isn’t in our existing syllabus, and our trainers are pretty well-trained).
Also, I discovered that I do remember how to do dragonfly on the trapeze, even though I always get confused about it on lyra.
Ballet today was alllll about the turnouts … and it was a good class. There was so much fondu that we could’ve opened a restaurant.
It was also timely, because I’ve been working on maintaining all the turnout — like, alllllll of it, in both legs. It’s a workout, but it’s paying off. It’s much easier now to step into and maintain a 180 degree first or a legit toe-to-heel fifth (regarding which: when I started letting my supporting leg drift, Ms B. came over and grabbed me by my hipbones 😀 Hooray for physical corrections!).
Anyway, the biggest challenge right now is to keep the upper body light and easy while working the turnouts like the fate of the world depends on it. This ties into what BW kept shouting at me last week: “Use your lats!”
So I’ll be thinking about turnouts and lats in class tomorrow, heh. And about not letting the barre-side shoulder creep up.
And also about everything else, because ballet.
Also, petit allegro is finally improving, which feels like a minor miracle. I thought I was having a mental block about Sissones, but it turned out that it was a physical block: my épaulement was interfering with liftoff. Ms. B gave us a useful note about that: there’s that little side cambre in the port de bras for Sissones changée a côte, and if you start to cambre before you start to jump, you kind of wind up crippling the jump itself.
Ms. B complimented me on my turns, which is huge. I applied Modern T’s note about using my chin to spot, and it really seems to have helped. Ms. B said she’s going to steal it for another one of her students who spots with her forehead like I was … so a big Well Done to Modern T for that catch and the note to fix it!